The Year of Polar Prediction -- From Research to Improved Environmental Safety

kirstin.werner [ at ]


In May 2017, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) officially launched the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP). From mid-2017 to mid-2019, scientists and operational forecasting centers worldwide are working together to observe, model, and improve forecasts of the Arctic and Antarctic weather and climate systems. This international effort aims to close gaps in polar forecasting capacity. Improved forecasts of weather and sea-ice conditions in polar regions are also expected to result in better weather and longer-range prediction at lower latitudes where most people live. During two Special Observing Periods in the Arctic (1 February –31 March 2018 and 1 July –30 September 2018), routine observations will be enhanced, for example by additional radiosonde launches and buoy deployments. Scientists will intensely observe the Arctic system as part of coordinated field campaigns. Coordinated aircraft campaigns, satellite observations, and newly installed automatic weather stations will provide new insights into the processes governing the Arctic climate and related impacts on global weather systems. The WMO’s Information System will house the majority of the data collected across the initiative, making them available for operational forecasting centres to feed into their forecasting systems in real-time. Social scientists will assess the practical needs of stakeholders from the transport, shipping, and tourism sectors and how better polar forecasts could affect the outcomes of socio-economic decision-making. The International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction (ICO; hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany) supports the Polar Prediction Project by supporting the planning and implementation of YOPP activities as well as ensuring international coordination between a variety of involved partners and collaboration with related WMO and other international programmes.

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Conference (Talk)
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Arctic Frontiers 2018, 23 Jan 2018 - 25 Jan 2018, Tromsø, Norway.
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Werner, K. , Jung, T. , Goessling, H. , Hoke, W. and Kirchhoff, K. (2018): The Year of Polar Prediction -- From Research to Improved Environmental Safety , Arctic Frontiers 2018, Tromsø, Norway, 23 January 2018 - 25 January 2018 .

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